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Old 03-22-12, 12:20 PM   #1
triplebutted
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Can someone recommend a handlebar bag?

Hi all,
Looking for a bag, with maybe a clear plastic for a map on top. Something where I don't need to install a small nitto rack. Maybe something on a really good type of mounting system.
I'll be using it for some triple and some doubles this year. Thanks!!
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Old 03-22-12, 12:23 PM   #2
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I really like my Ortlieb, with a few caveats:

Map holder flaps over 20 mph air speed.
Really needs one mount per bike it'll be used on.
Interferes with bar-mounted headlight.

Other than that, it's spacious, holds a decent load well, mount is secure, gives you room to put your fingers between bag and bar, is waterproof, and you can keep a camera in the side pocket.
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Old 03-22-12, 12:42 PM   #3
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Ahh, lights. I didn't realize that would be an issue with bikes. I think I've seen those stem extensions that brings up the light up higher. But I guess you'll need one new stem for that, not the quill types.
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Old 03-22-12, 12:46 PM   #4
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I believe there might be some on eBay or amazon.
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Old 03-22-12, 01:03 PM   #5
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Ahh, lights. I didn't realize that would be an issue with bikes. I think I've seen those stem extensions that brings up the light up higher. But I guess you'll need one new stem for that, not the quill types.
I'm a big fan of these mounts that allow you to mount your light to the side of the fork:

http://www.amazon.com/Minoura-MINOUR.../dp/B003L9BEB6

They can also be hacked up and mounted to a front rack.
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Old 03-22-12, 01:37 PM   #6
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Actually I just did a self designed double century back on Monday an d use a long unused fanny pack that I wrapped on the handlebars as a handlebar bag. I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of time at any bathroom stop eating, so I was planning and did end up eating while riding. The fanny pack doesn't have the map pocket on the top granted but it doesn't mount uptight to the handlebar either. This would allow me to be able to mount my old Niterider light on the handlebar without any trouble at all. The nice thing is if I don't want it on the handlebar than I can remove it and put it on my waist since that is where it was intially designed to be used anyways. Think multipurpose usage and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 03-22-12, 02:26 PM   #7
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Take a look at handlebar bags from Topeak http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags?...ngseib4rmibo46. They have a quite strong mounting system allowing to install lights/computer on it. Additionally you can look into Topeak's bar xtender: http://www.topeak.com/products/Xtras/BarXtender for additional light mounting possibility.
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Old 03-22-12, 02:57 PM   #8
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Actually I just did a self designed double century back on Monday an d use a long unused fanny pack that I wrapped on the handlebars as a handlebar bag. I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of time at any bathroom stop eating, so I was planning and did end up eating while riding. The fanny pack doesn't have the map pocket on the top granted but it doesn't mount uptight to the handlebar either. This would allow me to be able to mount my old Niterider light on the handlebar without any trouble at all. The nice thing is if I don't want it on the handlebar than I can remove it and put it on my waist since that is where it was intially designed to be used anyways. Think multipurpose usage and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 03-22-12, 03:01 PM   #9
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Those Topeak ones are kinda interesting. I'll check those out.
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Old 03-23-12, 12:20 AM   #10
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I'm really happy with my Vaude Discover Box. It's very rigid and sturdy (uses KlikFix attachment system), it's far better than my old one in that regard. It also has a large map pocket. The size is medium- possibly too big if you are looking for something very small. My only gripe is that the opening and closing system is a bit fiddly, but at least it opens towards the rider; I've seen some models that open away from the rider, and so are inaccessible while on the bike.
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Old 03-23-12, 11:58 AM   #11
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I'm real happy with my Jandd Mountain Handle Pack IV. I modified the mount by gluing a Garming 500 mount on it so I still have the Garmin visible.

The only nit is that the map flap is kind of hard to tuck in sometimes.
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Old 03-26-12, 09:26 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the great suggestions!!! I finally finished the bike that I'll be doing my long rides on. But I think I may have a problem getting a handlebar bag on it. Any suggestions on how to deal with the spaghetti cabling?

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Old 03-26-12, 11:36 AM   #13
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the spaghetti is stopping me from using a handlebar bag too. I have considered going with bar ends. Someone here recently posted that Campagnolo 10 speed will work with Shimano 9 speed, but I have no experience with that. I have considered going to shimano 10 speed just to get rid of the cables.
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Old 03-28-12, 10:54 PM   #14
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I have the Topeak Compact handlebar bag with Ultegra 9 speed. I just pushed the cables out of the way and never had a problem. It's not real big, which was a good thing for me. It held what I needed (not a lot), stayed pretty much out of the way of my cables, and I didn't have to move my IQ Cyo that's mounted at my front brake.

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Old 03-29-12, 07:57 AM   #15
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Thank you all for the great suggestions!!! I finally finished the bike that I'll be doing my long rides on. But I think I may have a problem getting a handlebar bag on it. Any suggestions on how to deal with the spaghetti cabling?
As far as I remember the Topeak handlebar mount has a kind of U shape with quite a lot of space between the bag and the handlebar, so you can cover the cabling when installing the mount.

Last year I did a short fit of the Topeak bar mount on my bike equipped with top bar brake levers, and everything worked well, so there is enough space for cables too.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:31 AM   #16
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Heres some shots of my setup. I made up a little mount for my lights that sits underneath, clamped to the head tube.





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Old 03-29-12, 11:33 AM   #17
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The bag is just a cheapo from MEC.

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...ck-release.jsp
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Old 03-29-12, 11:34 AM   #18
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you might have considered this; but if you haven't let me warn you:

handlebar bags make a bike (at least my surly crosscheck) ride like shEEt imho. i used one for one three day epic ride and it was really frustrating. once your cruising it isn't terrible, but at low speeds and stopping/starting your bars flop around with all the weight way up there. my bike was constantly falling over while leaned on stuff it just kid of sucked especially once i got tired. it reminded me of a bad three stooges routine everytime we stopped.

i have since resigned myself to keep stuff just about anywhere else after that experience. now i use a frame bag instead and like it much better.

i have that nearly new ortlieb bag just collecting dust. let me know if your interested in it. i'd sell it real cheap as i have no use for it.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:43 AM   #19
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you might have considered this; but if you haven't let me warn you:

handlebar bags make a bike (at least my surly crosscheck) ride like shEEt imho. i used one for one three day epic ride and it was really frustrating. once your cruising it isn't terrible, but at low speeds and stopping/starting your bars flop around with all the weight way up there. my bike was constantly falling over while leaned on stuff it just kid of sucked especially once i got tired. it reminded me of a bad three stooges routine everytime we stopped.

i have since resigned myself to keep stuff just about anywhere else after that experience. now i use a frame bag instead and like it much better.

i have that nearly new ortlieb bag just collecting dust. let me know if your interested in it. i'd sell it real cheap as i have no use for it.
Yea that's definitely something to keep in mind. I use one, obviously, but some bikes are better suited to it than others. I hated my handlebar bag at first, but on this bike it works okay. I keep the load light.

I would frankly prefer a seat bag, but then I like having the map case and easy access to food the handlebar bag provides.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:45 AM   #20
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I remember from 25+ years ago Max how sucky they were. I used to be a AYH tour guide. I just need to put a few things in for a 300 and a 500 ride. I *think* I'm gonna aget the VO front rack that attaches to the fender mount instead. I have too much brake noodling to work around issues.

Commdos, that is BRILLIAN!!!
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Old 03-29-12, 01:12 PM   #21
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the spaghetti is stopping me from using a handlebar bag too. I have considered going with bar ends. Someone here recently posted that Campagnolo 10 speed will work with Shimano 9 speed, but I have no experience with that. I have considered going to shimano 10 speed just to get rid of the cables.
I concur. BTW, the reason I swapped my Sora levers for Campy 10sp, was to get rid of the cables. Campy Veloce levers are pretty cheap. They will work with Shimano 9sp and triple cranks. But I know you got those Sora levers by trade, can't beat that.
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Old 03-29-12, 01:18 PM   #22
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Reading this thread with interest. To experiment with the concept, I bought one of those little $10 Bell handlebar bags a couple months ago. I really like having snacks, keys, wallet, iPhone, etc within reach, but I'm content to leave my tools and repair stuff in the under-seat bag.

I've gotta say that having one with a map pocket, that's a little more convenient to work while riding, and maybe a little bigger would be nice though.
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Old 03-31-12, 05:05 PM   #23
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Hi all,
Looking for a bag, with maybe a clear plastic for a map on top. Something where I don't need to install a small nitto rack.... !
A real advantage to the small front rack / decaleur (or other stabilizer) approach is that the weight is supported from the forks; avoids the major floppy handlebar effect as Max-a-mill complained about.

Do think about whether you'll be wanting to access the main compartment while you are in motion (in which case bags with the top "hinged" up front allow you to get in), and then you may want one with the flaps held down by those stretch-cord plus hook assemblies, as opposed to snaps, zippers, and the like.

Lots of ways to hang lights under such racks.

Even the Nashbar little rack can work if you are up for a bit of metalsmithing and careful bending.

Just don't try the small racks for cast-iron sink transport. Think lighterweight.
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Old 03-31-12, 08:42 PM   #24
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If you need to keep your spaghetti, you can always use a bento box on the top tube to hold the food you want to eat while riding, and a stand alone map/ cue sheet holder that just mounts onto your stem. Your extra clothes etc will have to go in a seat bag, rear rack trunk or something because bento boxes do not have a lot of space. This rig accomplishes most of what people want out of a bar bag, with a few improvements: the cue sheet will be easier to see, and the bike will probably handle a lot better.

That said, I do like my bar bag rig. it's what you said you don't want, an Acorn on top of a Nashbar front rack. Having the load lower really does minimize the problems with handling (i have a crosscheck, and unlike the earlier poster who i assume had a bag that mounted higher, I don't mind how it handles with the bar bag).

Oh yeah, and i think the nashbar front racks are great. at $10 they make the significantly heavier and way more expensive steel front racks like Nitto's pretty hard to justify. on paper they are weaker and you do need to do some jerryrigging to get fancy bar bags to mount on them, but mine has worked fine for three years.

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Old 04-01-12, 03:30 AM   #25
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One thing I'd suggest not buying is a cheapo bag. I chose to grab a quick bag from Wal-Mart (Bell brand) and while I love the concept of having the bag and use it, the actual bag is junk. The zipper is of poor quality and often binds, making it difficult to open and close while riding.

Spend the extra cash and get a good bag.
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